If I am a victim of domestic violence, how can this law protect me?
Under this housing law, if your landlord refuses to let you out of your lease, a judge who gives you an order of protection can terminate your lease without financial penalties to you.
As your first step, you need to approach your landlord and ask if you can be let out of your lease without any penalty based on your situation as a victim of domestic violence who needs to leave to protect his/her safety. If the landlord refuses, and you are applying for (or already have) an order of protection, you can ask the judge who issued the order of protection to terminate your lease so that you can leave without any penalty. The landlord and any co-tenants have to be given 10 days notice of the fact that you are applying in court for the judge to let you out of your lease.*
* NY Real Prop § 227-c(1) & (2)(a)